Kirk, Bones and Spock beam down to Triacus to find that Everybody's Dead, Jim
. Well, not everybody. The five children that went with their parents are still alive and fairly oblivious to the fact that their parents are dead. It is at this point, the viewer learns one essential thing. In the future, there is no fashion sense! Tommy appears to be wearing an Old-Timey Bathing Suit
. Mary looks like a flower child's acid trip. Don is wearing the curtains from Hell's dining room. Ray looks like he's been stealing from the closet of a midget used car salesman. And Steve looks like he's wearing William Wallace's
hand-me-downs. (His family name is O'Connel, but this is taking Celtic pride a bit far!) Seriously, Will, what were you thinking?
OK, fashion rant over. The children's behavior is disturbing. Not because it's Troubling Unchildlike Behavior
. They are acting exactly like children. Like unusually mouthy, disrespectful children who only care about fun to the point that they couldn't care less if their parents are dead. They no fun anyway. Kirk wants to find out what went wrong, if something is still going wrong. The kids want to go to Markis 12. If they don't get what they want, they won't throw a tantrum or anything....
They'll just make YOU throw a tantrum!
Tropes for this episode include:
- A Child Shall Lead Them: The title does seem inspired by Isaiah 11:6, as is the Trope name. The children certainly want to lead and use their new psychic powers to bend people to their will. Tommy impudently sits in the Captain's chair for awhile.
- Apocalyptic Log: Prof. Starnes (Tommy's father, incidentally) has left one.
- Child Eater: the Gorgon orphans all of the children living on one planet because orphaned children are more easily influenced by parental figures... such as the "friendly angel", as the kids call the Gorgon.
- Children Are Innocent: See-sawed. First, the kids seem a little too innocent, merrily playing while oblivious to the death they're surrounded by. Then they look like manipulative little brats. Finally played straight when it's revealed that they're the ones being manipulated by an alien entity.
- Cool Down Hug: A frightened Kirk gets pulled into the turbo lift by Spock. Hello, Ho Yay! Looks like Miramanee from that last episode didn't banish you after all!
- Crying Little Kid: The ep ends with five crying little kids.
- Driven to Suicide: All the adults of Triacus.
- Fiery Red Head: Tommy
- Girlish Pigtails: Mary sports a golden pair.
- Happier Home Movie: Believe it or not, this is instrumental in defeating the Big Bad! Captain Kirk shows the children tapes of them playing with their parents to remind them of the happy life they had before Gorgon the Friendly Angel corrupted them.
- I Know What You Fear: Gorgon taught the children the power of learning another person's fears and using the fears to disable and control them. The kids caused Sulu to see swords surrounding the Enterprise so he wouldn't change course, made Kirk afraid he was losing command of the Enterprise and used Uhura's fear of dying to prevent her from calling Starfleet Command. Incidentally, isn't it a bit strange that Sulu, who has shown fondness for swords and guns, should be afraid of knives?
- Ironic Nursery Rhyme: The kids sing and play "Ring Around The Rosy" within sight of their dead parents. "We all fall down!" indeed. The tune is played again where ironically appropriate. The chant that the children use to summon Gorgon could fall under this trope as well. It's also a bit of an Ear Worm.
- Kids Versus Adults: The kids have their own agenda and will not let adults stand in their way.
- Mind Control: How the kids get adults to do what they want. Since pouting, saying "pretty please" or endlessly repeating "Will you take us to Markis 12? Will you take us to Markis 12? Will you take us to Markis 12...." doesn't always work.
- Mouthy Kid: All the kids, but especially Mary.
- Our Angels Are Different: Gorgon's not a very friendly angel, despite what the kids' rhyme would say. And what's with the Mylar dress?
- Papa Wolf: Captain Kirk. He'll make kids cry if that's what it takes to make Gorgon lose power over them.
- Plot Hole: How did Kirk know who Gorgon was?
- Premature Encapsulation: The episode makes repeated thematic reference to the "enemy within". Too bad "The Enemy Within" was already the title of an episode two seasons earlier...
- Red Shirt: Two of them gang up on Scotty to avenge their fallen-uh- I mean, because they were being mind controlled. Two others get beamed into empty space because the kids have caused everyone to believe they are still in orbit of Triacus.
- Summoning Ritual: "Hail, hail, fire and snow...."
- Shattering the Illusion: Kirk breaks the control Gorgon has on the kids by showing them video of their parents to show they weren't as bad as they said. Destroying this illusion also breaks the illusions they caused the crew to have.
- Teenage Wasteland: The adults kill themselves, leading the children to their own devices.
- Teens Are Monsters: Tommy (Who looks somewhere between 12 and 14) is the de-facto leader of these children who would take over the universe. He takes perverse pleasure in tormenting the adults.
- There Are No Adults: Because Gorgon killed all of them.
- Vanity Is Feminine: When the characters' worst fears were shown: Kirk's was losing command, Sulu's was facing certain death that he had to maneuver the ship out of, and Uhura's was...being old and ugly. Granted, it seemed to be that being sick and near death that upset her most. Still, aren't you glad Nichelle Nichols aged much more gracefully in real life?
- Youthful Freckles: All the kids have them except for Don (who is black) and Ray (who is Asian).